View Poll Results: Should We Always Support the Troops

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  • Yes

    36 63.16%
  • No

    21 36.84%
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Thread: Should We Always Support the Troops?

  1. #51
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    Re: Should We Always Support the Troops?

    Quote Originally Posted by Perotista View Post
    For a military man, he doesn't decide what is a just war or what isn't. You are correct, first it is up to congress and then the president to decide whether to use force or not. The populace can make its voice heard. The soldier must follow the orders and directives that come down the chain of command.

    What does supporting the troops mean? That definition probably is left up to the individual. It doesn't mean treating soldiers like some of the U.S. population did after they returned from Vietnam. I can remember the hostile greetings some of these war veterans received at the hands of the anti-war crowd. During that time it seemed the soldier was to be blamed and not the elected leaders that sent them into harms way.

    I think the bottom line is just treating military members with respect. You do not have to do anything for them, just don't shout "baby killer," or spit upon them and threat them like they were pariah. Most of the soldiers serving in Vietnam didn't want to be there in the first place. If one is against any particular war, complain, demonstrate, write letters to your congressman, senators and the president and to newspapers, but don't take it out on the soldier.
    Preach THAT brother!

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  2. #52
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    Re: Should We Always Support the Troops?

    tl;dr version: it's not as simple as whether or not soldiers are good or bad. It depends on which soldier we're talking about.

    I don't like the idea that we should universally support soldiers because some suffer from corruption just as any other group of humans does. Bradley Manning proved that there are soldiers deployed, right now, who enjoy killing just a bit too much and are deliberately targetting non-combattants. I'm sure that's not common but it still shows that not all soldiers are worthy of respect.

    Given the number of non-defensive wars our country is fighting right now, I can't really understand why anyone would sign up to be a soldier apart from being desperately poor and needing to do something with their lives. The idea of serving the security of the nation seems pretty irrelevant at this point. There is no threat to us, we are simply engaged in the usual nation building activities that we've always been doing in our economic empire.

    If someone is signing up with the goal of being stationed in the U.S. or its territories then that makes sense, but at this point if someone is signing up because they want to go to Afghanistan then that is rather foolish. I would not feel the same about someone already enlisted prior to 9/11 who is under contractual obligation to go, but how anyone could know the facts of the situation now and still sign up is beyond me.

  3. #53
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    Re: Should We Always Support the Troops?

    Quote Originally Posted by Goshin View Post
    I concede that you have a point. Certainly "I was just obeying orders" was not considered an acceptible excuse for the Death Camp guards at the Nuremberg trials.

    I was going off the term you used, "unjust war". Thing is, this term has been used and abused a lot over the past 40 years, and while there is a specific an enumerated definition it isn't one everyone necessarily agrees on.

    Lots of people have called Iraq and/or Afganistan "unjust wars". Shall we let the troops themselves decide before every deployment whether a conflict is just or not, and decline to participate if they think the latter? How would you guard against those who might say they think the war unjust, when they are really motivated by a desire not to be deployed to a combat zone?

    It gets complicated.

    When the troops are obeying orders and performing their function WITHIN REASON, I tend to say "support them" even if you have disagreement with the current gov't policy on whatever conflict we're talking about. If it gets UNREASONABLE, like asking American soldiers to violate Posse Commitatus and fire on American civilians, we've moved to a very different level of argument here.
    I served during Operation Desert Storm and was/am proud of my service. My father is a Vietnam vet. My grandpa......a World War I vet. After speaking extensively with my grandfather (when he was alive) and my father regarding their wartime experiences and upon reflecting on my own at the tender age of 20 yrs..............to be perfectly honest...........I'm not really certain that most combat troops are actually truly aware of what their "missions" really are...........especially when you look back at Vietnam, the Persian Gulf Conflict, and the recent"War" on Terror. Or perhaps it is simply that those in command simply don't have clear-cut goals or missions in the first place.

    I agree with you that modern conflicts have been steeped in confusion regarding underlying goals and subsequent missions. I'm not sure that holding young, inexperienced troops completely responsible for following orders in hostile environments is completely fair.........especially when, most of the time, we (speaking personally of my particular tour) really didn't have a clear-cut "goal" or mission that was communicated clearly to us......nor did we really have a friggin' clue exactly what the heck we were or were not supposed to be doing most of the time.

    One example.......once we went on an extended "patrol" (2 weeks) with the 101st (I was combat support.....medic)............and we found out after-the-fact, that we had crossed over 20 miles into Iraq for a 5-6 day period when we weren't supposed to be there. Supposedly, the unit commanders, at the ground-level, were following orders and had no clue.......we heard that there were some disciplinary actions taken later, but not really sure.

    Bottom line is......most of us were a bunch of young, energetic, inexperienced "nubes" who were following orders, believing we were doing the "right" thing at the time.
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  4. #54
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    Re: Should We Always Support the Troops?

    Quote Originally Posted by phattonez View Post
    So under the scenario that troops are used against citizens, we should still support them and only hold the politicians accountable?
    There it is. I knew a conspiracy theory was about to rear its ugly head somewhere.
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  5. #55
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    Re: Should We Always Support the Troops?

    Quote Originally Posted by Goshin View Post
    Exactly, because you can't have the military itself, or individual soldiers, deciding they WON'T fight this war, any more than you can have them deciding they WILL fight some other war that they were NOT told to fight!
    Bingo. Members of the military do not get veto authority over the sovereign will of the American people.

  6. #56
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    Re: Should We Always Support the Troops?

    Quote Originally Posted by cpwill View Post
    Bingo. Members of the military do not get vieto authority over the sovereign will of the American people.
    Instead the American people get authority over the lives of the military? That's slavery.

  7. #57
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    Re: Should We Always Support the Troops?

    Quote Originally Posted by phattonez View Post
    Instead the American people get authority over the lives of the military? That's slavery.
    Sort of. The term would work if we had the draft. However, the military is voluntary "slaves" - perhaps you could more accurately compare their situation to that of Indentured Servants.

  8. #58
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    Re: Should We Always Support the Troops?

    Should we support the troops? Yes, they have no control over what they are ordered to do. We should not support the administration that sends them into pointless wars however.
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  9. #59
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    Re: Should We Always Support the Troops?

    Always is a pretty broad word. I don't always support anything.

    For the most part, I respect people who are in the military for doing an extremely tough and dangerous job. I realize that they aren't the ones who control where or why they're fighting, so blaming them for a war I don't agree with is unfair. There are a few bad eggs though that abuse/kill civilians or prisoners, and those deserve no respect/support at all.

    So no, we shouldn't always support the troops, but the majority of the time we should.
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  10. #60
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    Re: Should We Always Support the Troops?

    Quote Originally Posted by Goshin View Post
    Yes, but do you decry the government policy choice, or do you attach blame and shame to the individual soldier and disparage them personally? Me, I don't think you should.
    To me it depends on the person. If they're career military then I don't fault them for staying in service and I respect their decision to be career military and do what they're told within the UCMJ. (I have a special respect for those people, anyway. Whether they fight in a war or not we need them.) For those that join the military just to fight in what I consider to be an unjust war - yes, I do reserve the option to not respect their decision and actions as much as I "disrespect" any other person with similar views on that war. For the few that join during that time and do make the military a career (and it's impossible to tell them from the ones that will quit when the war is over) I'll apologize to them when they get their 16-year stripe or whatever they issue nowadays.
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